Career Years for Preds Players Equals Money for Middle Tennessee Charities
This season, Matt Cullen recorded his 600th career NHL point, Nick Spaling set career highs in goals, assists and points, and Rich Clune tallied two multi-point games. While all three of these players were scoring goals for the Predators, they were also scoring goals for the local chapter of March of Dimes, one of the charities paired up with Preds players through the DEX Score and Win program.
For the ninth season, DEX Imaging and Mailing partnered with the Nashville Predators Foundation to fund the DEX Score and Win program, a program that rewards local charities and community service organizations for every goal scored by a Predators player and every win recorded by a Preds goaltender.
Prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the 10 charities participating in this year’s program were each paired with two or three Predators players. Over the course of the season, the charities were given $100 for every goal scored by a forward or win recorded by a goaltender, $150 for every goal scored by a defenseman and a $200 bonus for hat tricks and shutouts.
“Giving back to the community is an integral part of our corporate philosophy,” President of Tennessee DEX Imaging and Mailing Mark Blaze said. “DEX wants to assist in helping our communities flourish. The DEX Score and Win program allows us to partner with the Preds and 10 local charities – it is fun and in addition to the financial support, it raises awareness for the causes of the charities. We love all Preds victories, but high-scoring shutout wins are even sweeter - our team wins, and we give money to great causes.”
With Cullen, Spaling and Clune’s offensive output directly related to money that would be coming to help their mission of helping healthy moms have healthy babies, the team at March of Dimes Tennessee closely followed the Preds season.
“Every game, if I wasn’t able to watch it, I was watching the score to see who was actually scoring the goals,” Family Team Specialist at March of Dimes Kim Barnes said. “All of our corporate teams and our family teams, they knew who our players were and they were cheering them on.”
Barnes was always sure to include information on how the Predators, specifically Cullen, Spaling and Clune, were doing in the newsletters she regularly sent out during the season.
“I was saying, ‘These are the players you need to root for,’” Barnes said. “Hopefully, that gave us a shot at them scoring more goals.”
Special Kids, an organization that provides rehabilitation and professional nursing services to children with special needs, has participated in the DEX Score and Win program for a few years and was paired this season with Viktor Stalberg, Victor Bartley and Marek Mazanec.
“I would send out emails to the therapists and to the staff about the games and people would email back saying how great it was,” Special Kids’ Foundation Specialist Sarah Callendar said.
Families from Special Kids also had the opportunity to attend Predators games this season through the Predators Foundation’s Give and Go Program. The Give and Go program makes sure tickets that cannot be used go to those that may not normally be able to attend a Preds game, giving some of the families from Special Kids a chance to watch the players scoring for the charity live.
During the 2013-14 season, DEX gave $29,000 through the DEX Score and Win program to Special Olympics, Rocketown, Interfaith Dental Clinic, Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle TN, Lighthouse Christian School, Tennessee Family Solutions, Second Harvest Food Bank and Life Care Family Services, in addition to March of Dimes and Special Kids. During the nine years the program has been in existence, DEX has given back $249,000 to the Middle Tennessee community.
Second Harvest Food Bank, whose mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in the community, spent their first season participating in the program cheering on Pekka Rinne, Mattias Ekholm and Michael Del Zotto.
“It’s a fun, unique partnership that supports our mission and helps us promote our players to our donors, advocates and volunteers,” Second Harvest Community Relations Manager Heidi Tieslau said. “We are very pleased with the final result, which will enable Second Harvest to provide more than 6,800 meals to Tennesseans at risk of hunger.”
Not only do the organizations involved in the DEX Score and Win program receive valuable funds for their organization, but they also have an opportunity to meet and talk with staff from the other organizations at a pre-season and post-season luncheon.
“It’s a great personal way we get to work with the Predators and DEX, and it’s a bit different than what we have done in the past,” Callendar said. “To get our name out there and partner with other businesses and organizations, I think it’s a great relationship.”
At the pre-season and post-season luncheon, organization representatives get a chance to meet each other and talk with staff from the Predators Foundation and DEX. These face-to-face meetings often lead to the organizations finding ways that they can help each other or additional Predators Foundation programs that they can be involved with.
“It gives us the visibility that we need to get our mission out there, promoting healthy babies and healthy moms,” Barnes said. “We’re so excited that we could be a part of it this year and hopefully we can again in the future.”
For more information on the DEX Score and Win program and the Nashville Predators Foundation, visit www.nashvillepredators.com/foundation.